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I promise this story about microwaves is interesting.

  • Published on May 16, 2021 veröffentlicht
  • I found an article that said "The microwave was invented to heat hamsters humanely in 1950s experiments." And I thought, no it wasn't. ...was it?
    Pull down the description for thorough references and credits.
    Thanks to James Lovelock for his time! His latest book is Novacene: amzn.to/3hmKsWz [that is, of course, an Amazon affiliate link]
    Filmed safely: www.tomscott.com/safe/ - thanks to jabs, PCR tests, isolation and distancing.
    I did consider whether to do an extended interview with Dr Lovelock, but the Science Museum has already done far better than I ever could:
    On cyborgs, asteroids and Gaia theory: • James Lovelock on...
    On his greatest epiphany: • James Lovelock di...
    An extended 90-minute interview from the Lovelock Centenary Conference: • Tim Lenton interv...
    I Burrell, in the Independent, 1997: "Your money, or the cat gets microwaved": www.independent.co.uk/news/yo...
    M Blitz, "The Amazing True Story of How the Microwave Was Invented by Accident": www.popularmechanics.com/tech...
    E Schliephake, "Ultra-short waves in medicine" in Short Wave Craft, Vol. 3, No. 11, March 1933, p. 646 [PDF]: worldradiohistory.com/Archive...
    E Ackerman, "A Brief History of the Microwave Oven", IEEE Spectrum: spectrum.ieee.org/tech-histor...
    Radarange photo from Acroterion: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Fi... - image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, creativecommons.org/licenses/...
    James Lovelock in 1962: Photo by Donald Uhrbrock/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images
    A Smith, J Lovelock, A Parkes, 1954: Resuscitation of Hamsters after Supercooling or Partial Crystallization at Body Temperatures Below 0° C.. Nature 173, 1136-1137. doi.org/10.1038/1731136a0
    R K Andjus, J E Lovelock, 1955: Reanimation of rats from body temperatures between 0 and 1° C by microwave diathermy. The Journal of Physiology, 128. doi.org/10.1113/jphysiol.1955...
    Lovelock, J E, Smith A U, 1959, Heat transfer from and to animals in experimental hypothermia and freezing. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 80: 487-499. doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1...
    I'm at tomscott.com
    on Twitter at tomscott
    on Facebook at tomscott
    and on Instagram as tomscottgo

Comments • 15 149

  • Tom Scott
    Tom Scott  8 months ago +9778

    An update from July 2022: James Lovelock passed away, surrounded by family, on his 103rd birthday. I'm very grateful to have been able to interview him, and my deepest condolences to his family. Rest in peace. His obituary is worth reading, because it covers so much: www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/27/james-lovelock-obituary

    • DrEsi
      DrEsi 10 days ago

      I just wanted to know an interesting story about microwaves but now I'm sad. May he rest in peace.

    • Laz M!
      Laz M! 10 days ago

      You getting this interview was a gift. RIP

    • Kathleen Davidson
      Kathleen Davidson 16 days ago

      And he died on his 103rd birthday. This world needs more people like him (the mice are much less enthusiastic).

    • gonzo_the_great
      gonzo_the_great 21 day ago

      What a cracking old lad. Bright as a button at 101years.
      Great that he got to tell the story of this bit of his career and save it for posterity. RIP.

    • oneoflokis
      oneoflokis 27 days ago

      He had a great life. 👍

  • Technology Connections
    Technology Connections Year ago +36044

    I can't think of a single reason why a story about microwaves wouldn't be immensely interesting!

    • mvvagner
      mvvagner 26 days ago


    • Sam Cranch
      Sam Cranch Year ago

      i must catch up on your vids,.!!

    • BroCephas
      BroCephas Year ago

      I clicked on the video but, with the attention span of a goldfish with adhd, I would have moved on but for seeing your endorsement (the mere fact that you commented on it).

    • Randy B
      Randy B Year ago

      Haha you would

  • Tony Murphy
    Tony Murphy 8 months ago +6458

    RIP James, died on his 103rd birthday yesterday.
    The most interesting scientist I'd never heard of until Tom introduced us all.

  • Salt Exarch
    Salt Exarch 8 months ago +1619

    In my opinion, the most unbelievable part about the original Percy Spencer story of how he invented microwaves is that he had a candy bar in his pocket and when it melted he thought "oh, this must be the radar's fault" and not "Oh, I'm an idiot for leaving a candy bar in my pocket".

    • zefirowy
      zefirowy 14 days ago

      Imagine, that we could not have microwaves if Percy was more hungry that day, and ate his bar earlier :)

    • Khiêm Nguyễn
      Khiêm Nguyễn Month ago

      People at the time knew EM radiation can heat up thing so it wasnt sth out of the extraordinary, also he could try different thing that could melt his bar until pinpoint radar

    • flyonwall360
      flyonwall360 Month ago

      My father was a radar engineer for GE Aerospace years ago and was exposed to a radar that he was working on. Not too long after that, he developed colon cancer and eventually developed a form of leukemia found in children. He passed away from cancer at the age of 64. I have spent the last 40 years working in the telecommunications industry and always use extreme caution when working with or around RF or Laser technology.

    • Jonathan Rees
      Jonathan Rees Month ago +1

      If the candy bar actually melted from microwave heat he would likely have had a significant burn, as it would have been cooking him as well.

    • identiticrisis
      identiticrisis 2 months ago +4

      @Carl Cushman Hybels Definitely. It's often said that the sound of science is something like "Eureka!" but in practice it's really more like "I wonder..."

  • Emmanuel Holsey
    Emmanuel Holsey 11 months ago +5173

    I've never seen someone smile so brightly from saying "I put a potato in it, and baked it"

    • Some Guy
      Some Guy 29 days ago

      While watching this, visions of the film "Frankenstein" came to mind. Instead of lightning, microwaves were used, and instead of an assembled human, whole hamsters were used. The light bulbs spontaneously glowing was evocative. "I'ts alive! It's alive!"

    • Anna Karenina Câmara
      Anna Karenina Câmara 2 months ago +1

      Bake 'em, smash 'em, put 'em in a stew

    • Divine Comedian
      Divine Comedian 2 months ago

      @Nick Clegg's Promise I've eaten potatoes and sweet potatoes baked in a microwave oven. They're delicious!

    • Gamey
      Gamey 3 months ago

      @Weeblon self aware beauty mark

    • Mirza Ahmed
      Mirza Ahmed 4 months ago +5

      @R that's just the understated British way of saying it was quite good.

  • Lena Patsa
    Lena Patsa 8 months ago +710

    Forget hamsters. How does he stay so incredibly young and clear-headed at 101? Amazing!

    • acb
      acb 11 hours ago

      secret is to get exposed to microwaves at very young age.

    • Andy harpist
      Andy harpist Month ago +2

      Because from 1966 -1981 he took a sabbatical from life in a deep freeze so died aged 88, though some say he's in the Coop Funeral Services back chiller to this day.

    • Redstripe921
      Redstripe921 Month ago +6

      Perfect genes and healthy life

    • Divine Comedian
      Divine Comedian 2 months ago +2


  • Makimars
    Makimars Year ago +28114

    A 101 year old scientist explaining his crazy experiments is the best smile I ever saw.

    • Vxnhy
      Vxnhy 6 days ago


      NO PROBLEM 8 days ago

      @TheKingOfFailure think I heard "wood"

      NO PROBLEM 8 days ago

      agree and must add as he proudly said: radder INVENTOR tha scientist

    • ShernWei Lee
      ShernWei Lee 10 days ago

      I just realized this is where the joke where cartoon characters warm a frozen character back to life came from.

    • oneoflokis
      oneoflokis 27 days ago

      Lovelock was just a BIT more than "a crazy scientist". 😏

  • Walter Capeling
    Walter Capeling 3 months ago +792

    This guy was literally watching technology evolve before his eyes

    • Evil_Grin
      Evil_Grin Month ago +8

      @Raven4K ... those are atoms.

    • Raven4K
      Raven4K Month ago

      @Gappl nope but they do come in many different types silly you have hydrogen and oxygen and so on and so forth

    • Gappl
      Gappl Month ago +2

      @Raven4K size is a very important factor to this, we are bigger, but molecules don’t get bigger.

    • lemming3001
      lemming3001 2 months ago +26

      He wasn’t just watching he was helping evolve it further

    • Felix Chen
      Felix Chen 2 months ago +3

      @Raven4K 10:18

  • Tommy Lyon
    Tommy Lyon 8 months ago +879

    I heard about James Lovelock's passing and came straight to this video. The interview is so warm and personable, he really was a treasure. Thanks for showcasing this piece of history.

    • Raven4K
      Raven4K Month ago +1

      @Militant Vegan 🔫🦆 stop crying like a baby and have some cheese boy🤣

    • Militant Vegan 🔫🦆
      Militant Vegan 🔫🦆 Month ago

      @Raven4K I’m saying 😭

    • Raven4K
      Raven4K 3 months ago +2

      wait they were microwaving hamster's?

    • Pandu POLUAN
      Pandu POLUAN 6 months ago +14

      He had this air of wise but fun grandfather with him.
      RIP Mr. Lovelock

  • Jakomelo
    Jakomelo 8 months ago +482

    5:40 you have no idea how shocked and happy I was hearing him say this bit. I didn't expect him to be alive still and I'm sure you made his day with the interview.

    • Lukas Springsklee
      Lukas Springsklee Month ago


    • Lurrie Lee
      Lurrie Lee 5 months ago +41

      @mknote This is the guy. This is the guy who’s to blame.

    • mknote
      mknote 7 months ago +49

      BigScriptus Sadly, less than a month after you said that, it's no longer true.

  • Malcolm Sleath
    Malcolm Sleath 7 months ago +187

    Thank you Tom. That was what you might call public service broadcasting. "Nobody has asked me about that before". Priceless.

    • Justin
      Justin Month ago +11

      I have to imagine he would often get interviews through the decades on his many many important projects. He must have been quite puzzled to be 101 and be called about the hamster reanimation work of all things! So glad we have him on the record about it. Truly amazing. But he did invent the microwave in the course of it!

  • Dootanator_
    Dootanator_ 8 months ago +155

    Imagine dying from hypothermia and a doctor just puts you into a microwave for 5 minutes.

    • Briley Shults
      Briley Shults Month ago +4

      I imagine they sedated the hamsters before freezing them (was sedation very common back then?) …hopefully the hamsters didn’t feel hypothermia

    • Natalie Green
      Natalie Green 2 months ago +35

      And you hear it "ding!" when you're ready

  • Will Simmons
    Will Simmons Year ago +4663

    I can't believe the fact that this story could have been completely lost to history if Tom hadn't stumbled upon a random line.

    • José Islanio
      José Islanio 14 days ago

      @h-Films or maybe they're struggling with the demographics on this video

    • h-Films
      h-Films Year ago +20

      @Dave Norton
      english is perhaps not a bot's strength

    • The360Mlg Noscoper
      The360Mlg Noscoper Year ago +15

      @kezzyhko :(

    • kezzyhko
      kezzyhko Year ago +80

      now imagine how many such stories were lost, because noone stumbled upon them

    • Ahmed Ibrahim
      Ahmed Ibrahim Year ago +87

      Please report bots everyone 🙏 in all social media platform. The content creators can't do much while the platforms does nothing, report them and help the algorithms delete it so no one gets scammed.

  • LBSi UK
    LBSi UK 8 months ago +300

    Rest in peace to James Lovelock. A scientist, an educator, father of the Gaia Theory and of course microwaves. May his legacy live on.

  • Cringility
    Cringility 7 months ago +160

    James looked as if he had always been so passionate in all his life trying to invent new things and put things all together and tinker with stuff. And the genuine smile he had on his face throughout the whole interview says it all. Rest in peace James Lovelock, you made a big and good difference on the world. Thanks Tom for unravelling this amazing story too.

  • Shangerdanger
    Shangerdanger 2 months ago +18

    wow that guy was SHARP for 101. unbelievable

  • YoungMystic
    YoungMystic 8 months ago +77

    The most unbelievable thing about this story is that Lovelock put a potato in a microwave and it came out perfectly cooked, and not molten lava on the outside and ice cold on the inside.

    • Piper Thomas
      Piper Thomas 8 months ago +20

      Well, it was “perfectly alright,” not necessarily perfectly cooked, haha

  • Jason M
    Jason M 8 months ago +60

    The fact he messed around with microwaves back in the day, AND is still so mentally together at 101 is the most amazing thing about this video.

    • Morbid Man Music
      Morbid Man Music Day ago

      Let that be a bit of education about cell phone damage. Not so real.

    • Loiso Pondohva
      Loiso Pondohva 5 months ago +4

      Not sure about the connection.

  • Santum
    Santum Year ago +12767

    man's 101 years old and can still speak perfectly and recall the exact story. legend

    • Student K
      Student K 2 months ago

      Thought the same

    • Dork Knight
      Dork Knight 4 months ago

      best use of youtube ive seen in a while. Adorable 101 year old genius perfectly recalls his super science invention.

    • Rubus Calculum
      Rubus Calculum 4 months ago

      And he survived all that radiation.

    • Vyzzle
      Vyzzle 4 months ago

      To be fair, the most common forms of dementia typically present with anterograde amnesia and older memories remain well intact (unless it's able to progress enough). Not saying this guy has dementia, but we can't say he doesn't either.

    • Social Swine
      Social Swine 4 months ago

      RIP to a real one

  • Alpachino Barlatino
    Alpachino Barlatino 11 months ago +156

    This is incredible journalism! You brought a story back to life and now it is very well documented for the future and even with a live record from the main scientist involved!

  • Avarc L
    Avarc L 8 months ago +210

    Such an interesting Scientist, his death is a tremendous loss. RIP James Lovelock.

  • spookith the one
    spookith the one  10 months ago +37

    you can tell how excited lovelock was to finally talk about his research with someone who was genuinely interested

  • Ricardo
    Ricardo Year ago +110

    I had the biggest smille when Dr.James Lovelock was speaking with that happy face about his work.

  • Southtrack Productions
    Southtrack Productions 4 months ago +27

    My word, James Lovelock was in incredible shape and incredibly sharp for 101 years old. May he rest in peace.

  • Jordy Lakiere
    Jordy Lakiere Year ago +10392

    Mr. Lovelock is by far be the healthiest clearest-minded 101 year old I've ever seen, that alone was incredible.

    • Maria Hewitt
      Maria Hewitt 5 months ago +2

      If you don't use it you lose it.
      I'm still learning every day, and I'm almost 70 years old.

    • nosville22
      nosville22 7 months ago

      training your brain your whole life will do that
      the really nice thing is how happy he seemed to be talking about that

    • DemonofChaos264
      DemonofChaos264 8 months ago +1

      He died yesterday sadly :(

    • Kyle Flournoy
      Kyle Flournoy Year ago

      I'm glad I'm not the only one who was thinking this

  • Pitirim Elea
    Pitirim Elea 7 months ago +20

    Incredible history. RIP James Lovelock. I'm astonished how well he was at his 100's even he remembered the stuff he did 50 years ago.

  • FB
    FB 8 months ago +85

    I just read on wikipedia that James Lovelock sadly passed away. I immediately thought of this video and what a nice (and extremely intelligent) person he was.

  • Maarten Keus
    Maarten Keus 3 months ago +43

    This is genuinely the nuttiest story I've ever heard and I'm not surprised it came from you Tom

  • Vladimir Arnost
    Vladimir Arnost 8 months ago +27

    Rest in peace James. 😢May Gaia be with you. 🌍
    I wish we had more brilliant, enthusiastic and positively thinking minds like him everywhere.

  • Eddy Land
    Eddy Land 8 months ago +43

    Rest in peace James Lovelock, you were an amazing person, thank you

  • mopple-the-whale
    mopple-the-whale Year ago +3130

    That 101-year-dude looks like a healthy and clear minded 80 year old, I'm impressed. All the best for him!

    • Cj Slime
      Cj Slime Year ago

      Microwave Radiation is good for you

    • Pedro Pascoa
      Pedro Pascoa Year ago

      Maybe we should all use our microwaves with the door open once in a while

    • Laura Hamm
      Laura Hamm Year ago

      Maybe its from radiation exposure

    • Sully
      Sully Year ago +3

      @Helen Tee yes thats why i phrased at like that. Genes form the parimeters, but how alive and energetic you are at a particular age is completely in your control. Diet and lifestyle give more than enough for majority of population to live well. Even something like dementia is partially in your control, which is why its being referred to informally as rype 3 diabetes

  • aim-to-misbehave
    aim-to-misbehave 8 months ago +22

    RIP James Lovelock, died today on his 103rd birthday - he was a pioneer, and I'm so grateful to this video for introducing me to his work

  • Alex Schmid
    Alex Schmid 10 months ago +12

    I genuinely think this is one of the best videos you've ever done.
    It's certainly my personal favorite.

  • stopsign 38
    stopsign 38 22 days ago +2

    Loved that interview with James. His recall was amazing, thanks for sharing the interview and obituary.

  • Tripeefy
    Tripeefy 3 months ago +48

    May he rest in peace what a true human he was

  • jim lewis
    jim lewis 7 months ago +9

    Lovelock was an incredible individual. I did once have the pleasure of hearing a lecture from him. Sadly missed

  • ddniUK
    ddniUK Year ago +3663

    James Lovelock is the spriteliest 101 year old that I have ever seen. What a privilege to hear his story. Thanks Tom.

    • Mattias Öman
      Mattias Öman 8 months ago

      And now he'll rest in peace

    • Mark Fox
      Mark Fox Year ago +1

      How many have you seen?

    • March madness
      March madness Year ago

      @Eddyspeeder yes! Wouldn't that be a joy?!

    • Vigilant Cosmic Penguin
      Vigilant Cosmic Penguin Year ago +4

      @Nick Clegg's Promise "I heard you've been working on a new kind of battery. How's that working out?"
      "Well... I would say it's..."

    • Alex Noman
      Alex Noman Year ago +2

      After having been microwaved in that lab no less! :D

  • Bo-eagle Van Belle
    Bo-eagle Van Belle 8 months ago +10

    So wholesome to see him speak so fondly about his work and colleague friends.

  • Synarchy
    Synarchy 3 months ago +6

    What a amazing guy. Glad he got to live a long and happy life and to enjoy these experiments he was apart of and the smile he has telling others

  • Nabarun Banik
    Nabarun Banik 4 months ago +2

    Literal chills and a smile at the same time.

  • Carmen M.
    Carmen M. 6 months ago +3

    I remember someone telling me that in WW2 a Japanese scientist used enormous microwave ‘ovens’ to experiment on people, mostly Koreans. The horrors of war… sometimes history is a horror story but not something we may ever forget.

  • Rob Armstrong
    Rob Armstrong 8 months ago +29

    I only watched this a few days ago and have just seen today’s news headline that James Lovelock has sadly passed away on his 103rd birthday. I’m so glad you were able to interview him.

  • efe erbaş
    efe erbaş Year ago +3079

    Imagine being a top of the line scientist, doing all kinds of research, contributing a lot of things to science and then somebody knocks your door asking "Sir did you, by any chance, microwave hamsters?"

    • Sarah Rose Johnstone
      Sarah Rose Johnstone 6 months ago +17

      He certainly seemed to be delighted, and was delightful.

    • Gold Zero
      Gold Zero Year ago

      @Buğra Sevinç Bi anda aklıma gelen birşey komiğime gitti yoksa maksat kötülemek falan değil yani

    • Buğra Sevinç
      Buğra Sevinç Year ago +1

      @Gold Zero Adam bir saat adamın yaptığı araştırmayı anlattı, neden öyle birşey düşündün?

    • Dinner-Fork Tongue
      Dinner-Fork Tongue Year ago +11

      @Iiii Vvvv
      That sounds very real.

    • ben gadgets
      ben gadgets Year ago +1

      Me: 6:26 👁👄👁

  • Dave Yates
    Dave Yates 8 months ago +5

    Your 101 scientist is absolutely a lovely person. I'm so pleased that you had a chance to meet him. I find your shows such a pleasure and your dedication for being as accurate as possible a pleasure. Thank you for the knowledge and entertaining way you present it.

  • Jolly Joystick
    Jolly Joystick 10 months ago +8

    I never expected the backstory of the microwave to be this interesting. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sándor Salamon
    Sándor Salamon 2 months ago +4

    When Tom says "I promise it will be interesting", I just listen because I know it will be amazing!

  • Eoin Montgomery
    Eoin Montgomery 15 days ago

    The way he describes his experiments with such detail, and enthusiasm is just amazing.

  • No, I did not catch the game last night Stop asking

    I love how happy he is while telling this story

  • Illusionism
    Illusionism Year ago +8512

    he's doing remarkably well for 101 years old

    • Curious J
      Curious J Year ago +2

      life force of a thousand hamsters 😔

    • Greg Gray
      Greg Gray Year ago +2

      Understatement of the year. Incredible bloke give him a knighthood already

    • Whif my crack
      Whif my crack Year ago

      Sure is

    • Daniel Joe Whitfield
      Daniel Joe Whitfield Year ago +3

      Just what I thought he's as sharp as a tack and looks great. I would have guessed 70


      Looks great and seems very sharp! What a guy.

  • The Truth
    The Truth 7 months ago +16

    Thank you Mr LoveLock for helping people burn popcorn for the past 40 years

  • Kalimata101
    Kalimata101 4 months ago +3

    By the Universe, you good Sir delivered on your promise, that was fascinating.
    It was magical to watch the gentleman exude a pure love of science.
    Not only that, I only know of two people other than this gentleman who can raise the dead, and they’re kinda the same person.
    That was incredible that the hamsters survived.

  • Darren M
    Darren M 6 months ago +3

    My dad was the local electronics engineer in our area and supplied microwaves to local chip shops. He got called out to one when they were complaining about it taking longer to heat food. It was a small chip shop and they didn't have space to open the microwave door so just cut the window and front mesh out. As far as I know no-one got organs cooked but it was a bit dodgy.

  • Lisa Calhoun
    Lisa Calhoun 8 months ago +4

    I loved this video. You absolutely made James Lovelock's day. He's darling.
    As a novelist, I've included a Faraday cage in one of my books. I was blown away by how many people reacted with, "A what?" I've enjoyed telling them that they probably have one in their homes.

  • Kaloyan Nikolov
    Kaloyan Nikolov 2 months ago +1

    A truly fascinating individual! May he rest in peace

  • Andrew F.
    Andrew F. Year ago +2332

    101 year old guy is more coherent than me. What an absolutely incredible dude

    • Himaro
      Himaro Year ago +1

      @R D My grandma definitely falls into that latter category. She's beginning to slip now, but she's comfortably into her 90's.
      She's got a sharp wit still though.

    • 🌟 Wander the
      🌟 Wander the Nomad Year ago

      @R D Seems like culture plays a big role in how someone ages.

    • Siarnaq
      Siarnaq Year ago


    • Wannabe Foley artist
      Wannabe Foley artist Year ago +24

      @R D probably has got to do with a combination of diet, iq, activities and stress that makes you healthier later in life.

    • R D
      R D Year ago +66

      My position involves working with older demographics. The correlation of reduced coherence and age is really not a smooth as you'd expect. I've talked to 55 year olds that hardly remember what I explained 30 seconds ago, and I've talked to 90 year olds that I don't have to explain anything to because they did their own research already. It's really changed my perspective on aging.

  • James McCune
    James McCune 5 months ago +4

    I love that 70 years later he remembered so many details.

  • John C Ray
    John C Ray 2 months ago +2

    This is the third time I've watched this and it still makes me smile. Mr. Lovelock is adorable when he talks about the light bulbs lighting randomly from the radiation bouncing around the room. I love everything about this piece.

  • Attorney IRL
    Attorney IRL 2 months ago +1

    This was inspiring. Thanks Tom, great work. I wonder how you found him. I'm never able to find anything about the writers on some old law papers. Maybe he wasn't that hard to find.

  • Ron Lucock
    Ron Lucock 2 months ago +2

    Tom Scott doesn't have to "promise" that any video he puts up will be interesting. Interest & passion for any topic exudes from his face & is a joy to watch, & learn something along the way.

  • Jack
    Jack 8 months ago +6

    Rest in piece James. E. Lovelock, one of Britain's great scientists

  • Chris Hubley
    Chris Hubley Year ago +3527

    "So I went to ask him about it..."
    I nearly spit out my tea with surprise. What a great reveal. What a great story!

    • FunnySuperBR
      FunnySuperBR 6 months ago +2

      @Matasa that also did not aged well

    • Marco Ramírez
      Marco Ramírez 7 months ago


    • Matasa
      Matasa 7 months ago +9

      @cloverlovania well, we all have to go eventually, but he lived to 103, so not bad at all. He got the Queen’s letter and all.

    • cloverlovania
      cloverlovania 7 months ago +6

      @Matasa this did not age well. :(

    • Matasa
      Matasa 8 months ago +17

      And I'm happy to note that as of now, in middle of 2022, Dr. James Lovelock is very much alive at the ripe old age of 102!

  • Calamitous
    Calamitous 8 months ago +5

    Rest in peace to him, still an incredible video, incredibly timed

  • Travis Hensley
    Travis Hensley Month ago +1

    thank you for interviewing and sharing james story with millions! his life shall forever live on thanks to you tom

  • Catbird
    Catbird 9 months ago +3

    This is genuinely fascinating. I had no idea that reanimation from complete freezing was possible at all.

  • Enigma Grieshaser
    Enigma Grieshaser 8 months ago +2

    Him seeing and knowing that there is a ton of people interested in his experiments gave him joy

  • TheStupidcomment
    TheStupidcomment 4 months ago +3

    Not only interesting but I'm blown away the guy was still alive and you were lucky enough to speak with him. This is top tier Clip-Share.

  • Just Some Guy without a Mustache

    I'm grateful that a legend like him is still with us at 101 years old!

  • Soulbite
    Soulbite 6 months ago +2

    A truly amazing story and one that I hope everyone agrees needed to be more widely shared.
    Condolences to Sir Lovelocks family and friends.

  • Mariano Williams
    Mariano Williams 11 months ago +4

    This is not only interesting, it is a lovely story.
    Thanks Tom.

  • Lucy K.
    Lucy K. 5 months ago +1

    Extremely sharp and mind active at 101yrs old, memories still there almost intact. This is amazing. I hope this video gets saved for posterity forever.
    Bet you made him so very happy! You can see how pleased he is to talk about it ❤

  • Dillon Gage
    Dillon Gage 7 months ago +1

    Mr. Lovelock is a treasure. Watching him reminisce about what was clearly good times for him, and simultaneously an important discovery in multiple ways.
    Thank you for all the contributions you've made to our collective knowledge.

  • James Frize
    James Frize 6 months ago

    I love how happy and enthusiastically he spoke of his experiences and being soo pleased to share them. I hope I'm as sharp as him at that age. RIP James

  • Jonas D Atlas
    Jonas D Atlas Year ago +2839

    Whoa, whoa, you actually *spoke* to James Lovelock? That’s kind of stunning. Actually finding the guy who did the thing in the 1950s is something you truly don’t see every day.

    • Rebecca M
      Rebecca M Year ago

      Yep and fun fact: Noam Chomsky is still alive as of 20/07/2021

    • ciaotiziocaius
      ciaotiziocaius Year ago +1

      @I can see you indeed

    • I can see you
      I can see you Year ago +7

      @ciaotiziocaius well certainly better than heterosexuality

    • James Churchill
      James Churchill Year ago +2

      @Srj there's radiation and then there's radiation. Ionising radiation is nasty. Non ionising radiation, not nearly so much. Especially microwaves, since you can't be cooked without noticing it.

    • RubyPiec
      RubyPiec Year ago +6

      woah bi flag

  • Timothy Walker
    Timothy Walker 5 months ago +1

    I remember the radar range, some homes had them of course they weren’t cheap. As for the microwave I heard they were testing a radar and it cooked someone’s chocolate bar😂

  • Zack V
    Zack V 2 months ago +1

    That fact his mind was so sharp at that age is amazing. Big science brain kept on trucking

  • Yahye Ali
    Yahye Ali 7 months ago +3

    R.I.P James Lovelock your work contributed so much to science, you’ll be missed :(

    • Paul R
      Paul R 7 months ago

      He looked incredible and still had his wits about him at 101 years old.

  • sayan roy
    sayan roy 6 months ago +3

    I have watched Lovelock in a documentary called "Going Circular" on a flight recently and it was kind of centered around his Gaia Theory and they did mention the NASA story and his electron capturing inventions resulting in finding CFC in the atmosphere and finding out about the Ozone Hole, but nowhere was it mentioned about this interesting microwave story. I believe that is why he got this excited. I mean, he would be excited regardless, I think. Anyways, he is a great protaganist scientist/inventor for that documentary as well as this story in this video.

  • lewis barton
    lewis barton 8 months ago +17

    RIP James, bloody legend

  • Lukas
    Lukas Year ago +5093

    I saw a 101 year old scientist talk about being in a highly radiated room reviving frozen hamsters with a microwave.
    Tom, the title was accurate, I'm not disappointed.

    • Ethan Forsyth
      Ethan Forsyth Year ago

      Happy hamster noises (in hamster that has been in a microwave)

    • Beanx
      Beanx Year ago

      These replies hurt my brain

    • Dahlia Exurrana
      Dahlia Exurrana Year ago +2

      while radiated is technically the right word, it can be misleading with our modern common use of the word. Ionizing radiation is what most people think of when we use the word, and it's the radiation that is capable of knocking electrons off of atoms which in enough amounts is capable of causing incredible damage to living things.
      Non-ionizing radiation can't do that and while it can certainly be dangerous in certain circumstances (you don't wanna stick your hand in a running microwave) there's no risk of receiving ionizing radiation in any amount from them. Microwaves only work within a small portion of the light spectrum, below that of the visible portion. To reach ionizing radiation, you need to be working with levels that are significantly higher than the visible spectrum and microwaves are incapable of even coming close to reaching it.

    • Sea of Tranquility
      Sea of Tranquility Year ago

      Really!? That’s got you crying with laughter!?
      I sincerely wish I was as easily amused.

    • Madcoda
      Madcoda Year ago +1

      Microwave is not the kind that ruin you instantly. The danger ones are radioactive materials that emits ionizing radiations and have a half life of couple thousands years, if you get those things in your body, you would be radiated 24/7

  • RiverRockPhotos
    RiverRockPhotos 6 months ago +1

    We need to be documenting everthing people like this can share. This was the best thing to happen to him in 30 years.

  • Gary Crispin
    Gary Crispin 7 months ago +3

    I am most impressed by how sharp his mind and memory is at that age. My 82 year old dad can't remember what he told me yesterday...

  • John Lysic
    John Lysic 4 months ago +1

    Yes - this story was truly interesting and you did a nice job laying it out - I started my engineering career in the ‘80s mostly with RF but also programming in machine language assembler - the progression of knowledge, expertise & practical applications from then to now is truly astonishing - working around RF and satellite dishes all those years my colleagues often asked each other a common question “do you have any Sons?” - the answer is usually “no, I have all daughters” - the informal theory among this trade is that we all get “cooked” a bit in such a way that affects our ability to reproduce. (We are not biologists, so we have no idea if this theory holds water)

  • Jay of the Mountain
    Jay of the Mountain 7 months ago +1

    What a fantastic story. It must have been brilliant to meet Lovelock before his passing.

  • rpuls
    rpuls 5 months ago +1

    Wow what a charismatic old guy! RIP just leaded that he passed very recently, with his work he most likely impacted almost everyone's quality of life, absolute legend

  • Robert Bringardner
    Robert Bringardner Year ago +2853

    The guy casually exposed himself to unshielded microwave radiation in his youth and is still strolling down the beach at 101

    • Jonathan Wright
      Jonathan Wright Year ago

      Perhaps there is a connection with the Radon tunnels from another Tom Scott video...

    • Mc GetRekt
      Mc GetRekt Year ago

      @Alacritous You have to be insanely careful with microwaves though, because they don't burn you like a fire would, they can penetrate your body and heat up your internals which is not good for you.

    • Robert Willoughby
      Robert Willoughby Year ago

      @Kpoping727 I wouldn't go that far, but it certainly seems to have helped!

  • Bert M
    Bert M 26 days ago

    My mind was blown by this video. It's hard to believe that experiment worked. The interview with the still-sharp 101-year-old was incredible too.

  • Twisted Code
    Twisted Code Month ago +1

    thanks for capturing this interview before he passed. You may have saved this bit of history from relegation to myth and legend.

  • 7th Boss
    7th Boss 5 months ago +1

    “…because _physics_ …” has got to be one of my favorite descriptions of engineering

  • KiwiHame
    KiwiHame 5 months ago +1

    That's as hilarious as it is fascinating as it is brilliant. Great film. Thank you Tom and James.

  • Dancing Drake
    Dancing Drake 4 months ago +1

    Thank you so much for saving and recording this awesome historically interesting story.

  • jan Melantu
    jan Melantu Year ago +8152

    “So I decided to ask him about it” was the biggest twist, I wasn’t expecting a 1950s scientist to still be living. Just goes to show how important it is to record knowledge while we still can

    • Tyler Blankenchip
      Tyler Blankenchip Year ago +1

      and to be speaking better with more information then myself or anyone i run into daily, he's so inquisitive, detailed and fast for 101 years old, its amazing to see hes in such good health.

    • That Poem Guy
      That Poem Guy Year ago +6

      Indeed. After all, "the only difference between Science and screwing around is writing it down"

    • Alias of an alias
      Alias of an alias Year ago +1

      @Colin Antink In regards to written information, the knowledge is still ready to be harnessed and we have Hawking to thank for this. RIP

    • Colin Antink
      Colin Antink Year ago +7

      @Alias of an alias sadly. Had*. RIP Stephen Hawking :(

  • Liam BARON
    Liam BARON 2 months ago +1

    how lucky you and we are, that Lovelock was still alive at the time and that we could get an interview from him !

  • exp1993
    exp1993 Month ago +1

    Amazing story!!! Thank you for hard work, and thank you Mr. James

  • Clocker bell 🔔
    Clocker bell 🔔 5 months ago +1

    This was such an interesting video. I was sad when it ended!!! Condolences to James’family.

  • Dennis4
    Dennis4 Month ago +1

    All I can say is Tom did deliver on his promise!😅

  • rafaelveggi
    rafaelveggi 7 months ago +2

    Immense respect for this episode in special, thank you dearly.

  • Quispor
    Quispor Year ago +1278

    I don't think I've ever seen the "historical scientist who discovered this" is actually still alive and willing to tell the story before. Really unique and incredible story, Tom

    • allahm-ast3mnly wlatstbdlny
      allahm-ast3mnly wlatstbdlny Year ago +2


    • Will Everyday
      Will Everyday Year ago +25

      Jax1 how cool is this? We need more of it Tom!
      I think that most scientists will talk at length and with great enthusiasm about their interests.

  • Carson G
    Carson G 5 months ago +1

    I appreciate your citations! and as always, love your well researched videos....

  • Cuco Momo
    Cuco Momo 5 months ago +2

    When I was a kid our dog had puppies, one was so cold when bored...it was clearly dead. It broke everyone's hearts there then this at the time crackhead (they've passed now and became a great family friend who did shake their addiction.) came up to us and wanted to help. He told us to put the puppy in the microwave for literally only 3 seconds. Since there was so many of us there to help the dog, we invited him in to do it...no one else wanted to be responsible to that mishap. I was only 6 at the time so I had no saying or any hope in this working. I just thought the puppy would explode in the microwave! I couldn't bare to look but they did it. Longest 3 seconds ever! I looked when they took the puppy out of the microwave. In the guys hands after about a minute...the puppy came to life! Wiggling around and that's about it! I was convinced the puppy was a zombie😂 He was a little white great pyrenees and coukd still even be alive today! We gave him away to a good shelter not a pound. Where he got all his shots and papers then off he went to hopefully a loving home! I can't belive it to this day NEVER would I attempt it, but I have seen it work before it is a very real thing reviving animals with a microwave. So weird.

  • Luke Skywalker
    Luke Skywalker 7 months ago +2

    Awesome interview! Could do a whole series on retired scientists and old school tech! How cool 👍